There is much to be said about all the good that comes from being alone. Aloneness and loneliness are completely different. Aloneness is a feeling of aliveness and emotional freedom. It is a positive and emotionally energizing place. It’s not the mere concept of being by oneself that defines being alone more the understanding that being alone requires both self-reliance and emotional sustainability. People who enjoy being alone have higher self-esteem and emotional maturity. There is a significant difference between being alone and being lonely.
Loneliness refers to feelings of being incomplete and sometimes empty. You can be surrounded by people and still experience feelings of loneliness and the range of emotions associated with insecurity, dependence and unmet needs. Some people feeling that without another person or companion that there is something wrong and missing in their lives. Loneliness is a negative emotion that quietly robs self-esteem and can errode one’s capacity to feel complete and connected to others. Lawrence Wilson suggests that loneliness may actually be a driving force that helps people look for connection in others to fulfill emotional need (2011). Wilson asserts that loneliness may be seen as a state of suffering over loss of connection or long felt abandonment. The difference between the two feeling states is important. Aloneness is a pleasant feeling whereas loneliness is unpleasant and can lead to chronic isolation and sadness. Aloneness can bring about creative energy while loneliness brings about brooding rumination.
Think about what that means. The two concepts are almost opposing emotions yet most of us are them as synonymous. Too many people either fear being alone or depend on others to complete them by making the whole. There was an old adage that we come into this world alone and so we go out. Emotional grown and emotional development require being alone and not total dependence on another person to feel complete or whole.